Roots-reggae acts deliver

BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter

Sunday, December 28, 2014

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THE dancehall acts would have had to be excellent performers to outdo their reggae counterparts at the 2014 staging of the popular annual stage show Sting.

From their earliest sets at the JamWorld Complex in Portmore on Friday night, it was clear that the reggae acts were determined not to be outdone. They put in workman-like performances to earn the respect of the tough Sting crowd.

Performances such as former Rising Stars finalist Dann I, Royal Flames, Droop Lion, Exco Levi and Iba Mahr were able to move the sizeable audience which streamed into the venue. These acts, with their conscious lyrics, sought and received the adoration of patrons who are widely believed to be dancehall-oriented.

The trend continued with the always on-point Ikaya. This artiste has been displaying so much potential over the years and at Sting 2014 she didn't disappoint. With tracks such as Hard Way, Ugly Girl, Dat Nah Go Work, Fake Friend and Fly Away, she showed her versatility as a talented singer, deejay and even showcased her rapping skills.

Reggae revival member Kabaka Pyramid represented for his camp and JamWorld loved him. He was biting as usual with his social commentary -- Mr Politician Man, Never Be a Slave, No Capitalist, and the ever popular It's Alright. He was well-received.

But the performance of this first of the two shows went to the Fire Man from St Mary, Capleton.

Stepping onto the stage at just after 2:00 am, he lit a fire in the hearts of the Sting patrons that was still burning 50 minutes later when he exited the stage. Drawing from his deep catalogue Capleton 'bun out' all societal ills and after that it was hard for anyone to really top his performance.

The flame burning at JamWorld would continue with the smooth sounds of reggae singer Tarrus Riley. He dropped all his popular tracks in a snappy, set which ended at 4:00 am. Among the crowd favourites which Riley unleashed were Lion Paw, Going Out and Coming In, Battlefield, My Day, Hurry Up, Stay With You, Good Girl Gone Bad and the anthem She's Royal. He had JamWorld on a high which made it a fitting end to the reggae segment.

The work put in by emcee Sample Man must be noted. He truly kept the audience entertained with his onstage gimmicks and lightened the moments during band changes with his particular brand of humour.




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